Explore Hamilton and the Waikato region at your own pace with Hamilton car rentals from New Zealand Rent A Car.
Hamilton is located in the centre of the Waikato region about an hour south of Auckland, making it a great location to start your North Island holiday. There’s also lots to do in and around the city, with great cafes, shopping, nightlife and a host of attractions, including the popular Hamilton Gardens. If you’re looking for adventure, you can try hot air ballooning, rally driving, canoeing and kayaking, horse riding, hunting, quad biking and more.
If you want some more detailed information and attraction guides, then start by reading about the best things to do in Hamilton. From there you might like to discover some great cultural activities in Hamilton, as well as Hamilton trivia and interesting facts and the history of the region.
Or view our sample Hamilton Itinerary.
Take a closer look at some of Hamilton’s top attractions, all accessible by rental car:
One of the most famous visitor attractions in Hamilton is the annual International Ballon Festival, which fills the sky above Hamilton with dozens of hot air balloons of all shapes and sizes.
Although Hamilton’s CBD isn’t as big as Auckland or Wellington, it still offers a vibrant and diverse experience with many great cafes, shops, and other interesting stores and outlets … and exciting nightlife.
The Japanese Garden of Contemplation at the Hamilton Gardens has been designed using ancient landscape design principles in order to create a restful and tranquil space. Take the time to visit and clear your mind.
Another popular attraction within the Hamilton Gardens is the beautiful Rose Garden space. This fascinating collection tells the development of roses throughout history, with a number of unique species and hybrids on show.
Get up close and personal with a diverse array of wildlife from all corners of the globe. This is an ideal excursion for families with children, and everyone will leave Hamilton Zoo with a smile on their face.
Not to be confused with Lake Rotorua, Hamilton’s Lake Rotoroa provides the ideal venue for a fantastic family day out. Enjoy rollerblading along the waterfront, rent a kayak and go for a paddle, or enjoy a delicious coffee with a view.
With students comprising over 5% of Hamilton’s population, the University of Waikato is a major hub in the region. All those students also like to party, meaning that Hamilton has fantastic nightlife to accompany its quality university.
The mighty Waikato flows through the center of Hamilton, and enjoys a commanding presence. The river is an ideal place to cool off in summer, and watch talented rowers at work alongside other water sports.